Poetry For Our Time

Poetry heals the wounds inflicted by reason. -Novalis

Empty

with 2 comments

I’m not sure how I feel about this one, and it definitely needs some work, so all comments are welcomed!
*******************************

The howl of the wolf at night
is a hollow sound
that carves at your soul
like a dark, winter night.

The magnolia bush blooms
before the last frost,
its scent fills the air
with the life of spring.

But it is not quite spring,
the earth has not warmed,
our toes are left chilly.

And on a not-quite-spring night
the wind can sound like the wolf’s howl,
slowly scraping away at your soul.

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Written by Ashley

April 28, 2009 at 2:13 am

Posted in Poem

2 Responses

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  1. I’m not sure how I feel about this one either. The images in and of themselves aren’t bad, but the first two stanzas don’t feel very fresh…the idea of the wind as a wolf’s howl that hurts the soul feels like something I’ve read before. And the whole thing seems to hang very rigidly together. I see the last stanza working to pull everything together, but I feel like I can see the seams of it straining.

    The image I keep coming back to in this piece is “our toes are left chilly.” It’s very vivid, very evocative, and I think better gets to the contrast you’re shooting for…the loveliness in anticipating spring and all it represents, but the perhaps premature hoping for it. In revision, I’d suggest sitting down with a general idea of what you want to get across and seeing what images come out of that. I’m sure if you let the associations go, you could find some interesting stuff.

    Of course, you could also go the very reality-driven route and seek to flesh out the piece by answering questions about why those toes are out there and chilly to begin with. That could be cool.

    Thanks so much for sharing, and for being frank about your uncertainties about the piece. I think that’s a big part of being in a community like this: being able to get a straight answer about what’s working and what’s not.

    cd40

    April 30, 2009 at 3:13 am

  2. I think you’re spot-on, Chels. I started with that stanza about the toes and built around it, knowing the whole time that the best image in there was the chilly toes. I think I wanted to build something a little more obscure, and ended up with something … empty, for lack of a better word. I think I need to leave that image sit for a while and maybe use it somewhere else.

    Thanks for your honest and thoughtful comments. I wasn’t sure about this one, and reading another perspective solidified what I felt about it. I love this community. 🙂

    Ashley

    May 2, 2009 at 4:01 pm


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